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National Tequila Day lands beautifully on a Saturday this year, yes we celebrate nationally this Mexican spirit on July 24th, and you can get the finest cocktails promotions and fun activities around Miami and Ft. Lauderdale areas.

Coyo Taco is debuting a new premium Margarita on NTD. Taco and Tequila lovers alike can sip on this elevated spin for $5 all day (regularly priced at $8.50). The new premium margarita features Maestro Dobel Silver Tequila, made From 100% Blue Agave, Cointreau, organic lime juice, and agave. Guests can redeem the discounted cocktail at the taqueria side at all Miami locations from open until close. enjoy a FREE tasting of the new margarita and Maestro Dobel Silver Tequila (Saturday, July 24th from 4-7 PM). Drinks will be limited per guest and served inside the taqueria. COYO Taco is located in Wynwood, Brickell, and Coral Gables. 

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Raspadito at Lona´s

Lona’s Cocina & Tequileria, Ft. Lauderdale will have a special Volcan Tequila Cart to build your own “Raspaditos” with different flavors and specials all day long.

Lolo’s Surf Cantina will be offering double-shot specials with Volcan Tequila on Saturday, July 24th.

The Wharf will be hosting a Tremenda Fiesta with Free Beer when ordering a shot of Casa Noble Tequila.

Enjoy a 2×1 Watermelon Margarita at KIKI’S on the River fresh made with Cincoro Silver Tequila, fresh muddled watermelon, a touch of organic agave, fresh cold-pressed lime juice, and fresh mint. You can’t get any fresher than that. ($18)

The Grammercy is offering 50% off their Cincoro Tequila bottles, (Cincoro Blanco $400, Cincoro Reposado $475 and Añejo $750), enjoy $12 Margaritas and $14 Shot Specials of Cincoro Tequila Blanco

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Watermelon Margarita at Kiki´s on the River

Enjoy a 2×1 Watermelon Margarita at KIKI’S on the River fresh made with Cincoro Silver Tequila, fresh muddled watermelon, a touch of organic agave, fresh cold-pressed lime juice, and fresh mint. You can’t get any fresher than that. ($18)

The Grammercy is offering 50% off their Cincoro Tequila bottles, (Cincoro Blanco $400, Cincoro Reposado $475 and Añejo $750), enjoy $12 Margaritas and $14 Shot Specials of Cincoro Tequila Blanco

Bodega is introducing their new 22oz Frozen Margarita stadium cups, you can bring them home or refill with a discount. They have a box to-go including a Tereamana Tequila Blanco bottle, a camera, salt, and Bodega Taqueria goodies. Also offering $3 shots and $7 drinks on Saturday, July 24th.

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Pineapple, Coconut, and Rum. There’s nothing more tropical, tantalizing, or thrilling than this delicious combination. Just by reading or hearing the phrase, “Piña Colada,” we are already dreaming of a vacation on a luxurious Caribbean Island, right? This mental transportation to paradise is probably why this Cocktail, originally from Puerto Rico, has become one of the most popular and beloved drinks around the world. In celebration of Piña Colada Day, this Saturday, July 10th, 2oz Mag would like to suggest the best places in Miami to enjoy this idyllic Cocktail. So find a venue, kick back, relax, and take a sip of paradise. 

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Sexy Colada

ESOTICO 

1600 NE 1st Ave, Miami, Fl. 33132

In Miami, 22400oz of Esotico’s twist on the Piña Colada, “The Sexy Colada”($14) is sold every month, using around 1400 Pineapples monthly between their kitchen and bar, according to Elis Carriero, Bar Manager at Esotico Tiki Lounge. “To improve a Pina Colada is not easy, because it is already a beautiful and delicious drink, but our twist is definitely the best sellers in the house! We use everything from the pineapple since our concept is zero waste. We use 1/2 pineapple in the kitchen for our pineapple rice, chunk for cocktails, and for the fresh juice, with the skin we can prepare infusions and we use the leaves for garnishes as well. Our secret for the Sexy Colada is to do everything with love and very high-quality ingredients,” says Elis.

The Sexy Colada is a recipe from Danielle Dallapolla with Coconut cream re’al, Ginger syrup re’al, Bacardi Carta Oro, Pineapple juice, Pinch of salt, Lime juice, Coconut water from fresh coconut 

www.esoticomiami.com

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Piña Colada by Havana Rum

FINKA 

14690 Sw 26th St, Miami, Fl. 33175

On July 10th, Latin Gastropub Finka will host an event with Havana’s Rum brand Ambassador, Gio Gutierrez who will be around spiking drinks and giving out Piña Colada Shirts. Order a virgin Piña Colada and you will get a free Havana Club Clasico Floater. And who doesn’t love free t-shirts? Once your virgin Piña Colada is spiked, you will receive a hilarious, Piña Colada Day-inspired T-shirt to commemorate the occasion, while supplies last. Join the festivities from 6 pm to 11 pm. 

www.finkarestaurant.com

 

 

 

Pina Colada 2

Escape a la Orilla

ORILLA

426 Euclid Ave, Miami Beach, Fl. 33139

If you like piña coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain… Come to Orilla and Escape… yes, if you are looking for an elevated experience, check Orilla restaurant and mixology bar, for their “Escape a la Orilla” Cocktail ($16), inspired by the famous song “Escape” by Rupert Holmes. This unique take on the Piña Colada will amaze you. To celebrate this glorious day, Bar Manager and Mixologist Rodrigo Turbet created a Piña Colada-meets-Highball Cocktail. “I’m looking to offer a more refreshing drink without the density of the classic recipe. I didn’t want to use coconut cream but wanted the coconut flavor to be present so we’ll use the coconut in different ways. We add Ultrasonic Bacardi Carta Blanca with coconut meat, Bacardi 4, Rectified Pineapple Juice, herbal notes from Yellow Chartreuse, and Natural Coconut soda, carbonated. The Glass is garnished with toasted coconut flakes. It’s a simple cocktail that will transport you to a beach shore in every sip.”

Available from Wednesday 7th until July 11th, this unique take on the Pina Colada will amaze you. 

www.orilla.restaurant.com

 

Pina Colada 4

Shaun’s Colada

MINIBAR 

418 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, Fl. 33139 

If you are looking to just get a good drink, maybe a little mystery, romance, or some really good feelings, you can find your ideal spot at Minibar, inside of Urbanica Hotels.  We recommend that you also look for “Shaun’s Colada” ($13)  on their Cocktail menu, with pineapple juice, coconut milk, Simple syrup, Velvet Falernum, Teeling Irish Whiskey, and a sprinkle of nutmeg. “It is the Original Vacation in a glass, once you drink it, you know it’s time to kick your feet up,” says David Cedeño, Director of Bars for Urbanica Hotel’s Group.

www.minibarmiami.com

 

Coco colada

The Coco Club

FOUR SEASONS  

1435 Brickell Ave, Miami. Fl. 33131

Nothing fights the summer heat better than an icy drink right by the pool. Add it into a coconut and you already feel like you’re enjoying a staycation. Kick back with the tropical and delightfully creamy concoction “The Coco Club” – Havana club rum, pineapple juice, lime, served in a fresh coconut ($25). Presented in a gorgeous white coconut with an intricate design, this drink will elevate your summer vibes, your day, and your photos! Be sure to snap a picture and make all your friends envy your poolside delight this Piña Colada Day!

www.fourseasons.com

 

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Our Piña Colada

SWEET BEACH POP UP  

1801 Collins ave, Miami Beach, Fl. 33139

For a salty breeze experience, we recommend that you visit Sweet Beach Pop-up at the Shelborne Hotel. At the hotel,  you can enjoy a Delicious Piña Colada honoring the classic recipe, while also laying down by the pool or enjoying their wonderful garden. Sip and enjoy “OUR PINA COLADA” ($16) with Bacardi Carta Blanca, Bacardi 8, Santa Teresa, Coco Lopez, Pineapple, Banana, Curry Powder, and Sea Salt. 

@sweetbeachpopupmia

 

Pina colada

Frozen Piña Colada

LE CHICK 

310 NW 24th St, Miami, Fl. 33127

The outdoor patio at Le Chick, screams for a Tropical drink, and what better one than a frozen Pina Colada? “We created our Rum blend with Bacardi Coconut and Havana Club añejo, a great combination of flavors, caramel, soft fruits, spiced oak, and manuka honey… paired with a Pina Colada mix made by Kelvin Slushy mixes and topped with Angostura Bitters. The bitters cut down the sweetness of the drink releasing flavors of clove, tamarind, and cinnamon,” says Bar Manager Nikolas Mantzaridis. Piña Colada ($13

www.lechickmiami.com

 

Pina Colada with Teeling

Pina Colada with Teeling Whiskey

HOMETOWN BBQ  

1200 NW 22nd Street, Miami, Fl. 33142

Find your ideal, classic, nostalgic Piña Colada here. It has a  perfect balance of sweet coconut, tangy pineapple, and additional tropical fruits from Teeling Whiskey finished in Rum Barrels ($16). Enjoy live music every weekend because there is always a reason to celebrate a good time with good tunes! 

www.hometownbbqmiami.com

 

 

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Pepe Colada

LUCA OSTERIA

116 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables. Fl. 33134

Are you going to love the Pepe Colada? Claro que sí! This clarified cocktail has all of the refreshing, citrusy sweetness of a Piña Colada, but is much lighter and less filling. In celebration of Piña Colada Day, Luca Osteria is giving away free Clarified Piña Coladas sippers with any purchase of Havana Club drink on Saturday, July 10th during dinner service. Pepe Colada is made with  The Real Havana Club Añejo Clásico, Pineapple Juice, Coconut Water, Velvet Falernum, Dorda Coconut Liquor, Fresh Lime Juice, and Whole Milk*

www.lucamiami.com
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Chris Fierro - Rum_bassador

Rum Brand Ambassador Chris Fierro lives and works with heart, passion, and a strong sense of community. It is largely his personable character, his willingness to grow, and his dedication to his brands that allow him to make a name for himself in the Rum Industry. Fierro travels long distances from West Palm Beach to Miami for work. He communicates with bartenders, restaurants, and mixologists to learn from those around him. He is also professionally and personally present for those in the industry that he considers a part of his family. His personal touch and community-oriented approach not only makes him a beloved member of the community, but also the perfect mentor, friend, and contributor to the South Florida Rum Scene.  Similarly, to his first brand ambassador job at The Real McCoy, Fierro is undoubtedly the real thing.

How did you get started as a Brand Ambassador?

In 2013, I was working as a bookkeeper for The Real McCoy brand. During my second year working for The Real McCoy, I started helping out the brand by seeing what I could do on my end to help promote it. We were a startup. I went into local bars where I had good relationships with the managers and asked them if they could bring in my brand because I would like to drink it at their bar. They said sure and I kept following up every week. After the first month, the manager told me that The Real McCoy rum was at the bar and you can order whenever you want, anytime you come. I did the same thing with my other favorite restaurants and bars. I was persistent. Then, Founder and CEO Bailey Pryor took notice and appreciated the work that I did for The Real McCoy brand. Mr. Bailey Pryor guided me and showed me how to transition from my role as a bookkeeper to a brand ambassador. 

How do you differ from other BAs?

When The Real McCoy left West Palm Beach and went to Connecticut, I picked up a new brand and started on my own in the industry. I said to myself that the only way I’m going to be successful is by working hard, being very passionate about my work and the brand, and making sure that I could make the industry better.  supported everybody in the industry. Succeeding in the market involved supporting the bartenders, bartenders craft, my brand, the bars and restaurants. That was my formula. I brought my passion to every restaurant and showed them who I am and what I’m bringing to the table. I’m not saying that nobody has ever done that but with every account that I had, I show them a great appreciation for their support. I caught people’s attention with my approach and a lot of people told me that I’m different from the brand ambassadors that they’ve seen in the past. I tried not to worry about other brand ambassadors with competitor brands. I focused on my work and what I could do to continue growing.

Who in the industry has inspired you? How has their inspiration impacted you?

I did not come into this industry knowing everything. I followed people that I admire and learned from them. Ambassadors like Gabriel Urrutia, Cesar Diaz,  Freddy Diaz, and Jessica Stafford were rock stars to me. My biggest mentor was Robert Burr. He’s the organizer of the Miami Rum Festival and he gave me a lot of guidance. Forrest Cokely is another amazing person that inspired me. He’s a genius with spirits. He’s like a Guru. These individuals gave me a good reason to be in this industry and to learn what it is all about. They taught me how to give back to my community and how to help the next guy that’s coming into the industry by mentoring them and continuing to give my support. 

After The Real McCoy, what other brand did you represent?

After The Real McCoy, I started working with Richland Rum. To give you a little bit of history about Richland Rum, it is from Georgia, made from molasses, aged up to 2 years in brand new American Oak barrels. It was a new brand to the Florida market when I accepted the brand ambassador/sales role. I knew it was going to be a challenge to sell a bottle at $40.00. Richland Rum was a new product to the Miami market with a premium bottle price. I had to sell it with few tools to impact the market (sell sheets and t-shirts). I knew that the only way to sell this rum was to be active on social media and show my buyers and followers my work and what I was doing with all my accounts. My schedule was working after lunch hour until midnight, sometimes to one o’clock in the morning. Drive back home and wake up early in the morning to research on Facebook. I would look into what bars and restaurants are busy and offering great craft cocktails. Then I would hit the pavement to visit accounts, introduce myself to new potential accounts, and do my follow-ups. With a lot of hard work, I started seeing results in the market with Richland Rum. I even expanded my market from Key West to Jacksonville with the help of my friend Cesar Diaz. My name became known and was easier for me to sell at new accounts. I felt like after I was done with Richland Rum, I truly became a brand ambassador. 

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Image credit by Gato Delix

What have you learned about Rum that fascinates you?

Learning about the brand is helpful to understand the spirit.  At the Miami Rum Festival, I met a lot of distillers and was interested in hearing about their distilling and aging process.  I also learned a lot from brand ambassadors like Stilo Pimentel and Zan Kong. I read a few books about rum too. The Real McCoy brought me into this amazing industry.  It was my loyalty to the spirit that pushed me to learn about other rum brands.  My two favorite rums to drink neat are The Real McCoy Rum and Grander Rum. 

What are some challenges of your job?

Some challenges happened during my start. I worked with small brands that didn’t have a distributor, budget for marketing, sales support or POS. They lacked the necessary tools to stay competitive with bigger brands.  It was also difficult to work around the established brands when I didn’t know anyone and when I didn’t have any relationships in the market.  The Miami market, which is one of my favorite markets to work in, is very competitive.  If you make it in Miami, you can possibly make it in other rum markets. 

What are some rewards?

My rewards in the market have to be meeting a lot of amazing industry people and making new friends. 

How have COVID-19 affected you personally and professionally? How has it influenced the Rum industry?

I’m currently on furlough. It affected me to see my accounts that are closed and thinking about my friends being out of work.  Of course, it is important to prevent the spread of the coronavirus but I know that people are being affected by the virus emotionally and financially. I see everybody in this industry as a family so I’m always thinking about them and what I can do to help. For most bartenders, this industry is their livelihood and it can be upsetting not to work.  I may have a backup plan but they may not. They could be in a worse situation than I am in. I try to support them and travel from West Palm Beach to Miami as much as possible to meet for a drink or a bite at one of my accounts.  It helps sometimes just to talk or get out of the house and share a good conversation.  

How will you celebrate National Rum Day? Do you have a favorite cocktail?

On National Rum Day, my favorite cocktails are the classic Daiquiri and the Jungle Bird. I am going to stay safe at home with my family. I might do a barbecue in my backyard with my family and drink some delicious rum neat and in a cocktail. I might also do virtual cheers with some of my industry friends that are willing to celebrate National Rum Day.

Name three things needed for an awesome National Rum Day.

First, be safe. Second, stay positive. Third, make sure you have your favorite bottle of rum next to you throughout the day.  

What do you do in your free time? Tell us about your hobbies?

I work in my backyard. It was a disaster back there. I had a lot of weeds. I had a lot of holes because my dogs loved digging. I finished installing my fence and I stained it. I started gardening and built wooden planters for my new plants. I kept myself busy to avoid anxiety or depression. I also go on long, three-mile walks with my dog. This helps me get in shape so I can be stronger physically and mentally to be ready when it’s time for me to go back to work. 

I’m also enjoying my free time. I have two amazing daughters that I adore and love. We are bonding more. We watch movies that I used to watch back when I was a teenager. Recently, we  watched Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club and Better off Dead. Valley Girls is the next movie to watch.  We watch 80’s movies that aren’t boring for them. I’m not trying to put on a combat movie and have them be on their phones. It helps to watch movies that they can relate to and enjoy. We also enjoy the evening with some ice cream and pizza.

Are there any businesses that you would like to take a moment to highlight/support?

Some of my favorite restaurants that are still open are Vista, Shokudo, No. 3 Social and The Butcher Shop.  I’m always happy to support local businesses. 

How may we follow your journey?

Instagram:

@rum_bassador

@therumcave

@spirithustler

Facebook: Chris Fierro

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Helen Kim - Oori Bakeshop

Image by Blazin Visualz

A flair for business runs in Helen Kim’s blood. The local bartender, baker, and businesswoman grew up watching her parents work in their restaurant so it is only fitting that she has now started her establishment. After the pandemic hit, Kim, like many people around the world, took to baking as a labor of love. However, unlike new bread baking fanatics, Kim used her passion to open up Oori Bake Shop––Oori which means “us” or “our” in Korean. Although it may seem like Kim wears many hats (bartender, baker, businesswoman), there is a lot to learn about the way she pursues her passions and continues to infuse joy in all aspects of her life. 

How did you go from being a bartender to becoming an entrepreneur?

Baking is not my first endeavor. I own a consulting business called Liquid Culture as well. I consult with any service industry related item: beverage programs, hospitality training, product training, branding, etc. I have been in the bar industry for a long time. I started in restaurants. My parents had a small restaurant and then I started bartending when I was about 19 or 20 years old. I’ve been doing this for a very long time. Then, about three or four years ago, I realized that I didn’t want to be a manager or work for someone else. I wanted freedom. I like doing events and I wanted to do more events. I wanted to have the freedom of doing the nerdy cocktail stuff but also the fun events. Forming my own company was my way of trying to appease both sides of my life. 

How did you start Oori Bake Shop? What’s your baking journey?

To be honest, I was just doing the bakeshop as a hobby since March. I was like, oh, I’m at home. Why not? I started baking and doing little projects and then it took over my life. I would schedule my entire days around baking. I would schedule it around dough making and fermentation. I would wake up and start baking. A lot of my close friends, who I used as my guinea pigs, told me that I should sell my products. People would message me and ask if I sold my products and if they could buy them from me. I did a little here and there but nothing serious. One day I just woke up and I was like I should just do this. I’ve grown up in the kitchen my entire so I was like, why not? My family owned a small deli bakery. We did like Brooklyn style water bagels. My dad baked all the bread so we did hoagies and croissants. He did all the baking and I loved it.  I like the early mornings and the smell of fresh bread. Then, remembering all those aspects of life that I enjoyed while doing my hobby, I could see myself doing it for a living. Here I am three-four months later.

So you are a bartender, a baker, and a businesswoman. How do your passions inform one another?

It’s a full-circle thing. I started in the food industry with my parents. Then, I started working as a server because there’s more money there. There’s always more money in front of the house. I was cocktailing at a bar and I wanted to start bartending. I wanted to learn. It just seemed so fun. I started as The shot girl. From there, I started bartending and I’ve been doing that since I was 20. Now, I am back into food. I construct cocktails the way that I would construct food. I am always thinking about my base flavor or the main component of something. It’s like a layer of flavors. That’s how I do cocktails and now that’s how I do food. It’s like one full circle.

What are your favorite aspects of the job? What are some challenges?

I’ve been in the bar and restaurant industry for quite some time.  I love being a bartender.  I love the culture, the people… I get to meet awesome people. It gives me so many opportunities and it’s such a people industry. But there is the flip side to it. It is a booze industry. As I’m getting older, I’m thinking about the late nights and the constant drinking. Although the mindset is changing and becoming more health-conscious, I am starting to look at other things. I’m working on my yoga certification right now. For people like myself, and I think a lot of people are in this position, I feel like the pandemic has allowed me to just try to change my life without having a schedule to abide by. I have all the time in the world. Why not? Let’s just try it and see what happens. 

How has COVID-19 affected you personally and professionally?

Professionally, I’ve been officially unemployed since March. I am now self-employed. I guess I was always self-employed…I still have my other company, but it’s event and hospitality-based, so there is not much work coming in right now. But personally, it’s been great because I was working as a brand ambassador. I covered all the southeast. I traveled a lot so personal time was very little. Even if I did go out, like dinner with friends, when you work in accounts or for a brand, it doesn’t ever turn off. The pandemic has allowed us to be able to do different things. You can say to yourself, “You know what I’m not working right now, like literally not working, and I am just not gonna look at social media for like two or three days” and be totally okay with it. I love that. At first, it gives you anxiety but once it settles in, I love it. I love doing my own thing. I love making my own schedule. I don’t answer to anyone. It’s awesome. 

What, if anything, do you hope a Post COVID-19 Word resembles for you as a person and as a member of the hospitality industry?

I’d like to continue doing what I’m doing. I just started. I am in my first week and let me tell you there are a lot of learning curves. Hopefully, my baking becomes a profitable business where I can sustain myself without having to work the late nights. That’s what I’m trying to avoid. I was working at jobs where I was up till 5:30 in the morning. Now, I’m getting up at 5:30 in the morning to start my day. It’s opposites and it’s an amazing feeling because I get so much done. I feel good. When you live the vampire life, even if you don’t drink, it takes a toll on your body and your spirit. It feels very weighing. I don’t want to go back to that so I’m in a really good space right now.  I want to keep this energy and take it forward and see where it goes.

What are your favorite pieces of bread to bake and why?

I love a true sourdough loaf.  That is my favorite thing because it’s so technique-driven. I wouldn’t say that I’m a master sourdough baker but I am just obsessed with it. Sourdough is one of those things that is ever-changing. You’re constantly learning new things. Then, your environment changes and that changes your bake. It’s just like when life throws you a pandemic and you have to pivot. Sourdough does the same thing. Somehow, for some reason, it is five degrees warmer in my house and now everything is proofing so much faster and now I’m doing this, and this all at the same time. It’s fun. The Japanese milk bread that I have on the menu right now is also one of my favorite things to bake. It just reminds me of childhood. In Asia, most of the breads that we eat are fluffy, soft, white breads. For me, it’s very nostalgic and the little loaves are pretty. 

How may we order your product?

You can order mainly through Instagram. I’m handling all my orders through direct messages on both my personal and the big shop account.

Oori Menu
Helen Kim - Oori Bakeshop 176

To contact Helen or follow her journey:

Instagram:  @helenkimchi, @ooribakeshop, @liquidcultureco

**All the images credits goes to @Blazinvisualz

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The Fall 2020 Release of Johnnie Walker 200th Anniversary Blends

The wait is almost over! Johnnie Walker, the world’s No. 1 Scotch Whisky, is releasing four new brands of whisky this Fall. The highly anticipated release will celebrate the 200-year-old legacy of the beloved brand that a Scottish grocer, John Walker, invented centuries ago. The brand itself has delighted over 180 countries since its founding and these new whiskies strive to uphold the centuries-long legacy of good quality whisky set forth by its namesake. Three out of the four newly crafted whiskies will hit shelves in the United States. 

According to the Johnnie Walker website, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Eight is “a smooth, mellow Scotch crafted using some of the very rarest whiskies in the unparalleled Johnnie Walker reserves. Each whisky is hand-selected from only eight legendary distilleries that all existed when John Walker made the first steps on his journey, including some very rare expressions from long-closed ‘ghost’ distilleries.” The suggested retail price (SRP) is $350.00.

Whereas, the John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend, is an exclusive release that is a “rich and complex whisky” and inspired by “the flavors found in the Walker family’s grocery store in the 1860s and uses whiskies from distilleries which were operating at that time. The exclusive pack design reveals the only existing image of the Kilmarnock grocery store 200 years ago.” The SRP is $75.00.

Lastly, the John Walker & Sons Bicentenary Blend is “a sensorial journey down the fragrant aisles of John Walker’s original grocery store in Scotland. Master Blender Jim Beveridge and his team have drawn inspiration from John’s store and meticulously crafted a whisky with rich layers that re-imagines the exotic flavors that shaped his imagination. It is crafted with rare and exceptional whiskies, all aged for at least 28 years, including whiskies from long-closed “ghost” distilleries such as Pittyvaich, Cambus, and Port Ellen.” The SRP is $1,000.00.

Images credit: Johnnie Walker

The only Johnnie Walker brand that will not be available in the U.S. this fall is the Johnnie Walker Blue Label 200th Anniversary Limited Edition Design which, according to Johnnie Walker’s website, features “bespoke illustrations that bring to life the bold journey and pay homage to some of the great cities and countries that have been part of the Johnnie Walker story.”

Keep a lookout for these incredible new additions to Johnnie Walker’s collection which will be released during the latter half of Fall 2020!

For more information about this exciting opportunity, please check out Johnnie Walker’s website: https://www.johnniewalker.com/en/our-whisky/limited-edition-whiskies/.

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The Pandemic's Effect on Miami's Hospitality Industry

Image by Thomas Lundahl on Unplash

The citizens of Miami have historically responded to hardship by banding together and tackling obstacles from a unified front. Although no one could have foreseen the effect that the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, would have on the nation, it is not surprising that Miamians have continued to look out for one another during this difficult time. The hospitality industry, however, has not seen as much solidarity and support from statewide officials. As record-breaking COVID-19 cases and deaths occur throughout South Florida, bars and restaurants currently face a new round of quarantine orders and lockdown measures. Though this aggressive and cautious approach aids against the long, arduous fight between members of the South Florida community and the virus, it also threatens to put the final nail into the hospitality industry’s coffin. 

Restaurants and bars had already experienced closure when the city first implemented social distancing measures back in March. Further, during the week of May 30th, according to the “COVID-19 Updates” section of Miami Dade County’s official website, “the City of Miami launched the Restaurant Recovery Program, which allows local restaurants to temporarily add or expand outdoor seating areas while still meeting mandatory social distancing rules. The program was created in an effort to help Miami restaurants get up and running following the COVID-19 shutdown.” 

In addition to this program, the Miami Downtown Development Authority(DDA) is also helping businesses in the downtown area by providing free permits for outdoor seating, umbrellas, masks, and even by assisting with marketing support. On the other hand, there does not seem to be any such program and assistance for bars. On June 26th, Halsey Beshears, the secretary of Florida’s Department of Business & Professional Regulation tweeted about the suspension of the consumption of alcohol across bars statewide. This decision has been met with confusion and frustration because restaurants have been allowed to operate at a limited capacity. Dissimilarly, few bars have not been allowed to operate at all, specifically sending a devastating blow to the bar industry. 

Currently, restaurants and bars are being closed again despite many of these establishments adhering to reopening guidelines. It is too soon to tell whether this decision will change the hospitality industry as we have known it. Yet, many bartenders and business owners have taken matters into their own hands in order to survive the pandemic. To support the restaurant industry, go to SaveRestaurants.com and tell Congress to pass the Restaurants Act. To support local Miami bars, be aware that some bars like Lost Boy have changed their business models to operate as liquor stores. Also, these bars not only sell liquor but also some craft cocktails. Bartenders have begun their entrepreneurship journeys by selling cocktail mixers. Mixology Ice also started a new business called Rico Box, selling vegetables. It seems that statewide financial support, innovation, and entrepreneurship may be the only way to save the hospitality industry. 

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The Pandemic's Effect on Miami's Hospitality Industry 182

 

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Anthony Lopez - Bar Consultant

Image by Karbannation

Local Bartender Anthony Lopez is no stranger to innovation, hard work or curiousity. These three characteristics are the pillars of his success in the service industry. After working unfulfilling jobs, Lopez decided to enter the world of food and beverage services. His first job was at The Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach where he was noticed by Carlos Moreno Rossi. Rossi, who is currently an event Coordinator and Beverage Director at The Delano Hotel/SLS South Beach, approached Lopez because of his unparalleled work ethic. Rossi was so impressed with Lopez that he welcomed him as a part of his bartending team. Lopez began working with seasoned bartenders who trained him and got him interested in the craft. 

What do you enjoy about bartending?

Bartending is an ever evolving industry. I love seeing new takes on the craft. Some bartenders are doing the same thing that I’m doing but, in other parts of the world, they have access to different ingredients, different spices and different spirits and so there is always something new coming up. People are always coming out with new techniques and so you can never say that you know how to do everything. Bartending constantly challenges you so it is something that is always changing and I really like that. 

As a bartender, what have you learned from people in this industry?

In the industry, people can tell whether or not you’re motivated. People can tell whether or not you like what you’re doing or if you’re just doing it as a job. People noticed that I started paying attention to what they were doing. I would ask certain questions. I constantly tried to figure out more about my craft and I wanted to continue to expand my knowledge. Those around me saw my passion and realized, “This kid actually cares about what’s going on and we’re gonna show him everything.” The bar would close around three or four in the morning, but I would often stay after we closed to learn. Back when I worked at The Raleigh, I hung out with another bartender named Peter Bocskor who had been bartending for over 14 years. He took me under his wing and showed me how to make different drinks. He would show me how to make cocktails, like Manhattans Vieux Carre and Rob Roy’s. I told him that these are the best drinks and I asked why no one ever asks for them. He let me know that not a lot of people know of them. 

What are your favorite drinks?

I like Manhattan and Brooklyn cocktails. They’re both take on classics and they’re honestly some of my favorite drinks. The Brooklyn cocktail is not something everybody appreciates because it’s a little on the stronger side. It’s very spirit-forward and very straightforward.

Do you have any remarkable opportunities/ stories that have happened because of your job? If so, what are some of these experiences?

There are many stories that I take with me and that I’ll probably never forget. Some of my favorite events have been when I was bartending at The Raleigh. I’ve done a lot of events like food and wine festivals. I’ve met high-profile Michelin Star chefs and I’ve worked alongside the clientele that they’re catering to so I’ve met a lot of famous people. I’ve taken care of Tommy Hilfiger and Sam Nazarian (Creator of SBE and Owner of SLS Delano Hotels ) when they would hold meetings at The Raleigh. I met Snoop Dogg. I’ve worked a lot of concerts with DJs like Anjunabeats, Marshmallows and Thomas Gold. Those crowds were something! I am really happy that I got a chance to experience those events, especially with everything that’s going on now. 

What are your current projects?

I recently started a consulting gig with a good friend of mine named Rudy Abreu. Rudy and I are partners in our consulting agency. We are beverage consultants for bar programs and for at home bars. It’s a side gig to bring the bar to people. We bring the craft to their house instead of teaching people how to make a Long Island or a mojito, we make the fun stuff and teach people how to make craft cocktails at home. We make the experience approachable. I’m also heading the bar program at the Albion Hotel in Miami Beach. 

How has COVID-19 affected you personally and professionally?

We are all trying to survive in this market. We have all gone back to the drawing board. We cut costs down and worked to figure out how to change menus but also how to stay alive. We still need to keep people coming in the door, so that’s when we fall back on the classics. I obviously feel bad for everybody that’s having a hard time. It’s also been a  huge struggle because like there’s kind of this bias versus stand-alone bars and restaurants. Restaurants are okay but bars have been struggling to open. People don’t want to encourage gathering right now. Avoiding crowds has been the biggest challenge for me. All I know is how to fill up a room. I am trained to fill a room and I’ve perfected this craft to be able to get a lot of people to want to come in and enjoy it. But, you just have to take what you are given and roll with it. I don’t think that this pandemic will completely disrupt the cycle of the bar industry or stop it in its tracks. We got through prohibition. There are also families suffering and I wish people would be a little more safe. It’s important to take care of ourselves so we can get back to what we were doing and live a normal life.

Where can we see more of you? What’s your next move?

After working eight years in the hospitality industry, I’ve been inspired to create my own business. My business is called Cosa Nostra Cocktail Club. Cosa Nostra, or “Our Thing,” will also be the name of my bar. Although it reminds some people of the mafia, I chose the name because I’m Cuban-Italian and I’m from New York City (which is considered a birthplace of true craft).  I’ve created this LLC with Rudy Abreu who also bartends at SLS. Cosa Nostra will be a cocktail club to set us apart from the dive bars and from the regular bars. Once you’re considered a cocktail club it’s because you offer a little more variety not just mainstream classics as far as the cocktail programs. We use our knowledge of pre and post prohibition styles of bartending to create this brand because we realized that we care more about the craft cocktail side of the industry. We keep up to date with all the spirits that are coming out and we notice how our guests really experience drinks. We are also happy to show them how these drinks became staples in the craft. “Our thing” goes to show that we’re going to be different from everybody else. Cosa Nostra will not be an experience you can get by going into any other bar

To contact Anthony or follow his journey:

Instagram: @tony_cosanostracc

Email: A042393@hotmail.com

Phone number: (786) 218- 6309

 

 

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Ashly Levi - Miss Agave

Image credit: Blazin Visualz

Ironically, Bartender and Agave Enthusiast, Ashly Levi, was not always Team Tequila. In fact, she hated it, but she currently lives with a determination to change the minds of those who disdain the Mexican liquor. Now, Levi, who goes by “Miss Agave” because of her passion for agave spirits, has a blog that positively shifts the narrative about Tequila. With her blog Miss Agave, Ashly created a platform where she shares her knowledge and craft with others. She aims to break the negative stereotypes and reputation that is commonly associated with Tequila by eliminating the misinformation about the Mexican liquor.  

In 2015, Ashly moved to Melbourne, Australia, and got a job at a Mexican Restaurant with a stunning back bar that only featured bottles of Tequila. The entire selection was printed and stuck to the back of American License Plates, catching the eye and inspiring curiosity. Working at the Mexican restaurant was her first time working in the hospitality industry. Miss Agave was grateful that she was hired in an industry that celebrated community as well as making meaningful connections. She believed that working at a restaurant in the heart of the city would be the best place to meet people and she was right. Her bosses made a valiant effort to train their staff to work hard and learn fast. Initially, Miss Agave was intimidated by the new and fast-moving environment but she found safety in the lessons she learned while on the job, and along with her co-workers, was given a red binder with information about Tequila. Suddenly, she was thrust into this new world, learning the different regions where it could be found, the various categories of the spirit, and the laws that were attached to it. 

These informational packets were useful, but it was the training that changed Miss Agave’s relationship with, and understanding of, Tequila. Brand Ambassadors and owners of Tequila and Mezcal brands from Mexico would travel all the way to her restaurant in Melbourne. They brought their spirits and taught each bartender about them. They would show the bartenders slideshows and photos of the jimadores harvesting the agave in the fields to the beautiful land that is Jalisco, Mexico. Because she was born in Mexico, these training sessions and conversations gave Miss Agave a sense of pride for her homeland and a new appreciation of the liquor that originated there. Through these training sessions, she learned how to sip Tequila and what flavors to savor when drinking. She slowly developed a taste for it and it ultimately became her drink of choice. Because of this experience, Miss Agave believes that by learning more about agave-based spirits, their histories, their origin stories, and cultural impact, make them worth their respect. 

Thus, she created a blog that inspires others to give Tequila another shot.

What is the Miss Agave blog About?

My blog focuses on highlighting agave and Mexican spirits: Tequila, Mezcal, Raicilla, Bacanora, and even Sotol. Whether I am creating a cocktail or talking about a certain brand, my overall goal is to celebrate and bring attention to these spirits and educate others who may not be familiar with them. 

What do you enjoy the most as an Agave Educator?

Before I launched my blog, I noticed that almost every conversation I would have led to Tequila. Having this platform where I can reach so many people encourages me to learn more myself while I also promote the uniqueness and beauty Agave spirits have to offer. I know that I may not be able to change everyone’s mind or tastes, but I am happy as long as I am helping tell the right story and giving Tequila the credit it deserves.

Currently, you are a bartender. What do you enjoy the most working behind the bar?

 It really is an experience, and can be a rewarding one. You never know who is going to walk through that door and sit in front of you. I love the conversations and I love sharing my passion with anyone who is willing to listen. When someone sits at your bar, you are like an artist, or performer in a way while working your craft. Also, there’s always room for growth and learning.

Today we celebrate #NationalTequiladay, what are your thoughts about Tequila education in the US?

Yay, Happy National Tequila Day! 

I believe Tequila education is moving in the right direction. Working behind the bar, and even as a patron myself, I’ve noticed a wider variety of quality Tequila available. I think the combination of  Mexican inspired bars and restaurants opening up, like the “Taco Tuesday” trend, along with the numerous brands that have emerged in the last 5 years, have created more interest and inclusion for the spirit of Tequila. I do believe education is the best approach to help remove any negativity or misinformation behind the spirit. I know I am 100% biased but anytime someone tells me they don’t like Tequila, it is my mission to change their mind. I’d like to say I have a good track record ;).

What Cocktail will you be drinking today to celebrate National Tequila Day?

One of my favorite cocktails of all time is an Espresso Martini so my cocktail will be inspired by that except this cocktail will have Chai Tea instead of Espresso. This cocktail is made up of: Coconut oil washed Blanco Tequila, coconut milk, unsweetened Chai tea, Creme de Cacao, and cinnamon-infused Aquafaba. I’ve been working on Agave cocktails from home with ingredients that I have on hand! My home bar is not big enough!

What bottle of liquor do you have at home that is reserved for special occasions?

I have a bottle of Fortaleza Still Strength that I have yet to take out of the box. I don’t know what special occasion I’m waiting for, and I should just drink it. I’ll open it eventually. If there was a bottle that I would love to have at my bar that I would save for special occasions, it would be Fuenteseca 18th year.

What do you like to do for leisure? Tell us about your hobbies.

 I like to keep myself busy with work. I’m the first one to pick up or cover a shift. When I do find myself with free time I love to rollerblade, go to the beach but I’ll also just enjoy my down time during the day and then maybe visit my friends at their bars at night! Is traveling a hobby? Traveling is definitely my favorite thing to do. I pretty much always have a trip booked in my itinerary. Something I look forward to, work and save towards. Traveling is always so rewarding.

What’s next for you?

I want to get back behind the bar!  I love the rush of making drinks while chatting with guests and my coworkers. I would also love to work with more Tequila and Mezcal brands, even Raicilla and other Mexican spirits and focus on the education of these spirits with local bartenders but also with guests! From experience, it can be hard at times to give an interested customer a full Tequila lesson and tasting while working a busy bar. I have some ideas in mind to bring the educational experience to people outside of the industry as well! I also hope to make it back out to Mexico! Oaxaca is top on my list!

What’s the best way to follow your journey? Tell us how to contact you.

The best way to contact me is through my Instagram account @Missagave! Once I find a new bar to work at, definitely come visit me there. You can also contact me via email: info@missagave.me

Image credits: Blazin Visualz

RECREATE MISS AGAVE NATIONAL TEQUILA DAY COCKTAIL

Chai Tea-quila Martini

2 oz coconut oil washed Volcan Blanco

1 oz of unsweetened Chai Tea

0.5 oz Creme de cacao

0.5 oz unsweetened coconut milk

Cinnamon infused Aquafaba

Preparation

Pour all ingredients into your cocktail shaker and dry shake (no ice) for about 30-45 seconds. This will allow the Aquafaba to froth up. Add in some ice cubes and shake again for about 10-15 second. Double strain into a coupe glass!

Garnish with toasted coconut flakes

https://youtu.be/52j1Xj6fCqQ
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Best places to celebrate National Tequila Day!

El Tikiliero from Esotico Miami

When Life Gives You Lemons… Slice Them Up and Find Some Tequila 

– Our picks for Celebrating National Tequila Day in Miami

Despite the limitations associated with COVID-19’s social distancing rules, many restaurants and bars are providing novel solutions for Happy Hour. Miami’s reputation has been observed as an analogous melting pot; establishing a collective hunger for culture and tradition.

Tequila has been produced by the Aztecs in Mexico since the 1500s, and with 80 percent of Mexico’s tequila exported to the United States, we sure know how to celebrate! These are what bars and restaurants in Miami are serving up to enjoy National Tequila Day safely and deliciously.

In celebration of National Tequila Day, Coyo Taco is offering $5 draft margaritas and $7 frozen blood orange red bull margaritas. This awesome deal is redeemable at all Coyo Taco locations (Wynwood, Brickell, Coral Gables, and Palm Beach). If you’re not comfortable with outdoor dining, Coyo is also offering curbside pick-up and Margarita Gallons to go for $39.99. Simply open, pour, sip- all while staying safe at home!

Celebrating Tequila Day, Monty’s Raw Bar has created a signature Rosemary Pina-Rita’s for $10 all day. The cocktail features fresh pineapple, Blanco tequila, and rosemary essence. Monty’s Happy Hour is from 4-7 p.m. and it includes $6 frozen margaritas including mango, strawberry, and the classic with fresh lime. In honor of the festivities. Taquerias el Mexicano, the “Mexico City-style” taqueria in Little Havana is serving 2 for 1 on all tequila cocktails for their garden dining guests. Choose between their Diablo con Fuego Cocktail, Mango, or traditional Margarita

Diablo Con Fuego
Diablo con Fuego from Taquerias El Mexicano

Spanglish craft cocktail bar and kitchen located in Wynwood is offering curbside pick-up for both food and cocktails. Spanglish is offering a limited time “Chai-Kwando” cocktail, through Sunday, July 26th. This cocktail features chai infused tequila, hibiscus coconut reduction, lime, and spiced salt at 2 for $15 dollars or a bottle size for $55.

Bodega Taqueria and Tequila in Miami Beach are offering virtual happy hours from 6-8 p.m., with $5 frozen margaritas. To celebrate National Tequila Day Bodega has partnered with Casamigos Tequila to put together a tequila day essentials kit to celebrate at home. Complete with Casamigos Boston shaker, tajin, eye patches, and of course a bottle of Blanco Casamigos Tequila.

Take the party home with El Tikilero cocktail 3lts pouches to-go ( 3lts = 4 bottles 750ml) from Esotico, made with Herradura Tequila, Gem & Bolt Mezcal, fresh pineapple juice, and their secret blue agave mix all harmoniously blended together with a touch of allspice is also available on Happy Hour at Esotico Miami’s Patio.

Tequila Herradura will be offering free cocktails and giveaways at the following locations: Oh Mexico from 1 pm – 3 pm, Tequiztlan from 6 pm – 8 pm, R house from 5 pm – 7 pm and Tacology from 5 pm – 7 pm. Blend your complimentary drink while pedaling Herradrura’s bike. Participate in Tacology’s giveaway for a chance to win a Helicopter ride with Keen fly Can’t get any better than this! Don’t forget to tag us @2ozmag to be featured in our stories.

At home Recipe by Chef Scott Linquist: Passionista 

Chef Scott Linquist is a world-renown chef and restaurateur. He is currently the Chef Partner at Coyo Taco. With his unique concept development strategy and well versed in all cuisines, his beverage programs are akin to a cocktail lover’s degustation menu. 

passionista 1
Image credit: 52 chefs
  • 1.5 oz Blanco Tequila
  • ½ oz Ancho Reyes liqueur
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz passion fruit puree
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1 oz agave nectar
  • ½ oz Grand Marnier
  1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes, pour all ingredients except Grand Marnier over the ice and shake vigorously. 
  2. Strain into a martini glass. Carefully pour Grand Marnier on top (using the back of a spoon helps) so it floats, garnish with an orange slice. 
  3. Rim the glass with salt or Tajin if you prefer it.

Cheers!

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Marco Balza - Bar Market

 Born and raised in Venezuela, Marco Balza goes all the way back to 2006 when he was still living in Caracas and he had his first Bartender experience. “My friends and I had a party called ‘El Guarapazo’, we used to rent the party halls from the buildings and charged a cover for All you can drink ‘Guarapitas’, with DJs and security included, we even had a logo” remembers Marco about his beginnings.

Moving to Miami was not in his plans, but on a change of heart, he drops his Automotive Mechanic studies to start working in the Hospitality Industry. He started at the Hilton Hotel in a service bar inside the kitchen, then as a barback in a night club, and 13 years later, he recently opened his own consulting company. Bar Market. with an organic sense of sustainability, the consulting company is dedicated to delivering freshness and rich flavors in its products as well as the compromise to build top of the league Bar staff.

When do your love for Mixology started?

My parents had a little dispense in the kitchen with all the liquors. I remember there was a small book called “El ABC de los cócteles” I really like that book, it was the first time mixology caught my attention. When I started bartending in Miami, I wanted to create new cocktails, but since I was working in a nightclub, I started flipping bottles and don’t get me wrong, I loved it, I just wanted to learn more about the art of mixing drinks. I joined USBG around 2011 and from the first seminars I knew I’ve found my passion.

You just started your own business, tell us about Bar Market

Bar Market is a consulting company that looks forward to changing the Bar scene, making every bartender shine on stage every shift. I’m looking forward to improving Miami Bartender’s service by providing great staff training. I started this company after realizing I was working like a Robot all the time, even taking double shifts. It wasn’t making me happy.  I decided to get out of my comfort zone and give it a shot. 

My latest venture is the creation of a super organic handcrafted line of mixers for cocktails with super fresh, natural ingredients and no preservatives. I use the herbs from my own garden and they’ll be sell by pre-order only, in 25oz batches. At the moment I’m offering Mojito, Pina Coladas, Daiquiri, Old Fashion and Fit Spritz (low sugar) 

Bar Market will bring more exciting news to everyone in the industry or for those bar and kitchen aficionados, unfortunately, it is secret at the moment. I mean it. Stay tuned.

What do you love the most as a consultant? Is it the creation or education?

The satisfaction when I see the progress in each bartender, server, manager, or each person I’m training. I will say creation and training go hand by hand, you can create a masterpiece but, if the bartenders as ambassadors of your cocktails can’t replicate it, your job is pointless, with the right training, those bartenders will be artist, Ninjas, and stars behind the bar.

Do you have any favorite spirits when creating specialty cocktails?

I like all spirits on a menu, but for making cocktails my top 3:

  • N1. Gin
  • N2. Rum 
  • N3. Mezcal 

Is there any style that can represent you o a signature essence?

Life needs a balance, art needs a balance. you have to take care every single detail to make a great cocktail, but in my personal opinion flavor is most important, presentation it is very important too because is the hook that catches just by looking at it, but if the cocktail doesn’t taste good, is just a sad waste of juice. 

 What should be in a perfect cocktail menu?

  • Variety. Even if it is a Tequila or Rum bar, variety is the key.
  • Every cocktail menu should be seasonal.
  • Classics are the blueprints for new cocktails, if you don’t have a Classic list on the menu, every bartender should know how to make then perfectly, at least the most popular. It is unacceptable for a bartender to shake a Negroni (it burned my eyes. True story).
  • Every bar should have a famous signature cocktail, the one that every customer wants to try.

If Miami were a cocktail, what would be the ingredients? and how would you call it?

“Miamian Tales” 

Definitely Rum, Miami is a mix of a lot of rum countries. Lime, Mango because we are from the Caribe, Jalapeños because the people in Miami are Hot & Spicy and champagne as Miami Beach sparks through the night.

 Tell us your most memorable experience working as a Bartender?

Working at the Miami Rum Renaissance, and the Hukilau in Ft Lauderdale, All day talking about Rum, making cocktails and having fun.

 What’s next in your journey?

Keep doing my thing growing with Bar Market, working hard opening a Bartending Academy.  Trying to leave a mark in this life.

What’s the best way to contact you?

you can email at barmarketllc@gmail.com and follow me on Instagram at @Barmaket_ @Macoeche

You can email Marco or DM him to order the pre-batched Mixers starting at $25 per Botlle (25oz) or 2 for $40. When you buy 5 bottles you’ll get a green gift. If you return 5 bottles to support recycling, you’ll get a free bottle in your next purchase. Let’s support #smallbusiness #shoplocal

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Images by 52 chefs

 

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